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IZVESTIA Journal of University of Economics Varna


Econ Lit M490



Assistant Professor Dragan Georgiev

Research in the field of management accountancy up-to-date, has been mainly

preoccupied with the accounting systems of large manufacturing and merchandizing
companies, while studies of organizations in the service sector was directed specifically
at non-profit organizations in the public sector (Olson, Guthrie and Humphrey, 1998).
At this stage, there are few empirical data and analyses on the use of management
accountancy in tourism and the hotel industry in particular (Pellinen, 2003).
Revenue, expenses, volume of activities and economic results of the enterprises,
discussed from the point of view of management accounting, have been the main
object of research of a number of Bulgarian scientists, such as prof. Trifon Trifonov
(rifinov, 2003), prof. Boychinka Yonkova (Yonkova, 2003) to name but a few. Indeed,
the impact of specific factors upon the subject of business activities has been grossly
overlooked in various industry sectors. Assoc. Prof. Svetlozar Stefanov (Stefanov,
2009), Rozalin Ivanov (Ivanov, 2012) and other authors are among those who focused
their attention on existing flaws in accountability, analysis of revenue, expenses and
volume of activities in the hotel industry, however they failed to see their interrelatedness
in terms of management accounting. When reviewing Bulgarian scientific literature it
becomes clear that alongside general assumptions, authors such as Theodora Rupska,
Hrabrin Brashev and Snezhana Tsvetkova bring to the front CVP analysis and its
scope of application (Rupska, 2010; Bashev, 1993) (Rupska, 2010) in terms of industry
sector, many focusing on the agricultural sector in particular, taking into consideration
the specifics of company operations in that particular sector and the way they are
reported in the survey.
Speaking of the Bulgarian hotel sector, it seems that no in-depth and comprehensive
empirical studies on the application of CVP analysis exist so far, which can help us
understand to what extent said analysis is applicable to management accounting in
hotel enterprises and which aspects of application can possibly bring valuable information
feedback in the area of hotel management and practice. Arguably, the fulfilment of
these two basic tasks will help meet the objective of the present survey i.e. to examine
the application of costs-volume-profit analysis in the high-rating hotels located in the
north-eastern region of Bulgaria.

I. Research methodology
Period of research: July 8, 2014 August 31, 2014
Sample characteristics The survey embraces 24 businesses (See Appendix
1), which own or operate a total of 86 hotels in the north-eastern region with 31792
hotel beds in total, representing 15,13% of total hotel beds for all high-ranking hotels
(210172) in the country and 44,16% (72000) on the territory of north-east Bulgaria1.
Methodology of data collection and processing The survey is based on
questionnaires to be filled in, with questions surveying respondents opinion on the
aforementioned tasks. Collected data are processed with the help of the statistical
software package (SPSS), with a descriptive analysis of findings.
Limitations As the scope of the present study embraces a wide range of issues
associated with management accounting, it leaves the door open for certain misinterpretations
on the part of the respondents despite the initially given instructions. The study is limited to
business operators of high-ranking hotels in the north-eastern region of Bulgaria.
II. Profile of operators and hotels
) Classification of operators

Fig. 1. Distribution in terms Fig. 2. Distribution in terms

of legal entities of hotel management

Fig. 3. Distribution on the basis Fig. 4. Distribution in terms

of present or past state ownership of nationality of person having a
in the hotel property controlling interest in the company
Data provided by the National Statistical Institute with reference to accommodation units and
accommodation distribution in terms of statistical zones, statistical regions and districts 2013.
IZVESTIA Journal of University of Economics Varna

Fig. 5. Distribution in terms Fig. 6. Distribution in terms

of applied accounting system/basis of hotel size
B) Classification of hotel operators2

Fig. 7. Distribution in terms Fig. 8. Distribution in view

of hotel operation of hotel location

Fig. 9. Distribution in terms Fig. 10. Distribution in terms

of hotel grading of purpose
III. Application of management accounting in the hotel industry
1) Degree of application and evaluation of information utility in
management accounting (management accounting approaches)

All hotels (86 in total), are classified against specific criteria, provided under the Ordinance for
categorization of accommodation units, catering and entertainment places: period of operation,
distribution/geographical coverage, category and purpose or specifics.

Research methodology focusing on the management accounting (MA) approaches

in the hospitality sector, hotels in the north-eastern region of Bulgaria in particular, is
based upon the experience in similar research conducted by foreign authors. Our
study aims to identify the feasibility and efficiency of the thirty (30) most popular
approaches in management accountancy, in view of the survey conducted in 2009 by
Pavlatos and Paggios (Pavlatos and Paggios, 2009). These approaches were divided
into 5 groups, using Abdel-Kader and Luther classification (Abdel-Kader and Luther,
2006). The present study is based on the survey questionnaire of Assoc. Prof. PhD A.
Atanassova employed in July, 2013, the purpose of which was to investigate the state
of management accountancy in terms of actual use of MA tools, intention to use said
tools, and the significance the Bulgarian users attribute to these tools 3. The question
about degree of application relates not only to present time but to possible tools
implementation in the future (within 3 years time). Information utility, generated by
using the above tools is measured on the Likert scale - 1 to 5 point scale, where 1
stands for the lowest, and 5 for the highest degree of utility.
Section : Cost Accounting
Evaluation of full cost (65,2%) and conventional methods for the distribution of
indirect costs (65,2%) are among the most popular tools in management accounting in
view of the surveyed sector, therefore data generated by these tools have received
the highest scores by utility specialists. It is worth noting that evaluation of the marginal
cost (17,4%) and ABC method are rarely used (4,3%), which can be the reason but
also a justification for the low scores on their information utility. The reasons for the
above finding can be various on the one hand, the tools used in the analysis tend to
incur some extra development costs that outweigh their implementation; on the other,
information based on the assumptions of these two tools is seen unnecessary by the
management, etc. In addition, experts at this stage do not foresee the use of either
approach in the optimization of the cost accounting section.
Section B: Evaluation of achieved results (operating profit)
To evaluate the results achieved, it is necessary to use the profitability factors
(91,3%) and factors which relate to guests and their behavior (82,6%), such as number
of guests arriving, average duration of stay, distribution of guests by nationality, etc.
Information utility of these two sets of parameters is taken as the highest.
In the hospitality sector, useful information on IT software packages used in the
management process can be found in the non-financial factors of innovations in service
technologies, return on sales factors and benchmarking. Some of the more recent
tools in management accounting such as EVA (Economic Value Added) and balanced
scorecard (BSC) are barely recognizable and poorly implemented (8,7% and 4,3%
accordingly). These are comparatively new tools and their application is deemed
necessary only if managers and experts become convinced in the benefits they will

The present survey is conducted with the financial support of the project Application of CVP
analysis in the hotel industry on the basis of high-ranking hotels along the Black sea coast, 2014 under
the guidance of Assoc. Prof. PhD A.Atanassova. The project was realized by Assistant Prof. Dragan
IZVESTIA Journal of University of Economics Varna

Table 1
Application of management accounting tools

Is it applied? (score)

Mode range

It is to


Yes N uced
Management Accounting Tools (%) (%) (%)
Section : Cost accounting
Evaluating simplified cost 34,8 65,2 3 3 3,5
Evaluating full cost 65,2 34,8 5 5 4,41
Evaluating marginal cost 17,4 82,6 3 3 3,11
Applying ABC method for the distribution of indirect 4.3 95.7 3 3 3,17
costsof conventional methods for the distribution of
Use 65,2 34,8 4 4 3,88
Section B:costs
Evaluation of achieved results
Profitability factors (operating profit and growth in 91,3 8,7 5 5 4,38
Non-financial factors, relating to hotel guests (e.g. 82,6 17,4 4 4 4,26
number of guests
Non-financial and )average
factors, relating duration
to innovations (e.g 52,2 47,8 4 4 3,92
new services, following
Non-financial newrelated
factors, staff trends (e.g.
in thelabour
hotel sector) 43,5 56,5 3 3 3,23
Evaluation of ROI (Return on investment ) 30,4 69,6 4 4 3,90
Evaluation of economic profit (residual profit) 34,8 65,2 4 4, 4,5
Economic Value Added (EVA) 8,7 87 4,3 3 35 3,40
Return on sales 43,5 56,5 4 4 4,09
Balance Scorecard (BSC) 4.3 91.3 4.3 3 3 3,29
Benchmarking (hotel performance compared to best 47.8 47.8 5 4 3,93
Section C:ofBudgeting
other hotels in the same sector )
- To plan annual operations 56,5 43,5 4 4 4,43
- To monitor costs 82,6 17,4 5 5 4,45
- To coordinate activities at different levels of 56,5 43,5 4 4 4,14
-the organization
To evaluate managers 21,7 78,3 5 4 4,22
Preparing break-even budgets (zero-based budgeting) 17,4 82,6 3 3 3,60
Preparing flexible budgets 43,5 56,5 5 4, 4
Activity based budgeting4 39,1 60,9 5 54 4
Developing strategic plans 39,1 60,9 4 4 4,23
Section D: Data on decision making
Analysis of product profitability 73,9 21,7 4,3 4 4 4,33
Analysis of clients profitability 47,8 47,8 4,3 4 4 4,24
Analysis of the relation "costs-volume-profit" 78,3 17,4 4,3 4 4 4,08
Section E: Strategic analysis
Sector analysis 65,2 30,4 4,3 5 4, 4,33
Analysis of competitors strengths and weaknesses 60,9 34,8 5 45 4,2
Analysis of competitiveness 65,2 34,8 5 4 3,94
Long-term forecasts 39,1 56,6 4,3 5 5 4,3
ABM (Activity Based Management) 34,8 65,2 5 4 4,22

Note: Interviewing respondents made it clear that part of them did not answer properly the question:
Do you apply budgeting tools as activity based budgeting tool or activity based management tool?
The source for this confusion seems to be the fact, that the respondents associate the term activities
with basic and ancillary hotel activities and not with budgeting and operations management as is the
case. This was the reason for the invalid Yes answers to these two tools which accounted for their
increased share.

bring. We should emphasize the fact, that several business operators have voiced their
intention to use the aforementioned tools in the near future.
Section C: Budgeting
Direction budgeting is key in generating data on planning of annual operations,
monitoring expenses and coordinating activities and operations of different hotel
operators, which is justified by the large number of operators using the aforementioned
tools for budgeting, together with the high utility scores (from 4,14 to 4,43) in terms of
received data. Businesses in the hospitality sector make frequent use of flexible budgets
(43,5%) in the management process and more rarely of zero-based budgets (17,4%).
The latter are normally used when changes arise in the hotel product changes in the
operations involved in a service provided and/or inclusion of a new service. If no
changes occur in the hotel product, flexible budgets will be calculated, based on
retrospective data from previous accounting periods, with relevant volumes of activity.
A relatively high per cent of hotel organizations (39,1%) set out their long-term strategic
plans for development and submit high scores on their data utility (4,23). It is clear,
that dynamics in demand (changes in market segments, customer awareness of product
availability and innovations and resulting change in customer behavior) and supply
(the ongoing process of service sector innovations and modernization of hotel facilities)
determine the significance of data for making wise long-term decisions. Besides, hotel
operations are seen as economic activities with return on investment over a
comparatively long period of time which means that good forecasts are crucial for
realizing yield upon investment.
Section D: Data on the decision making process
The scores for this section reflect the use of many and different tools for the
decision making process in the hospitality sector, with product profitability analysis
taking the lead (73,9%), followed by CVP analysis (78,3%), with high scores for their
information utility with 4,33 and 4,08 respectively. CVP is considered an essential tool
in hotel management accounting and research of the impact of the hotel product and
its specifics. It would greatly contribute to address some of the key assumptions
embedded in the CVP approach and its applications. Taking into account the specifics
of the hotel product aggregate demand for services which means that said services
are perceived as an aggregate, we cannot but draw the conclusion that the profitability
analysis of hotel products is largely irrelevant in terms of decisions to be made about
the hotel product. This calls for a profitability analysis of customers against various
classification criteria and it was adopted in the hotel sector as a useful tool implemented
by a number of hotel organizations (47,8%). Many hotel operators will also resort to
using said tools in their managerial valuations.
Section E: Strategic analysis
More than half of the existing hotel organizations employ the strategic analysis
tool for sector studies (65,2%), analysis of competitors strengths and weaknesses
(60,9%) and competitiveness analysis (65,2%), whereby these approaches scored
high in relation to the utility of generated data. Long-term planning and sector analysis
tools are expected to extend their scope of application. Arguments presented in relation
IZVESTIA Journal of University of Economics Varna

to strategic planning (Section C: Budgeting), also hold true for the strategic analysis
A key problem that needs to be addressed is the implementation of integrated
information systems which largely account for the cost-benefit relationship and
effectiveness of tools applied in the process of management accounting in general.
2) Management accounting and supporting integrated information
Hereinafter various variants for organization and implementation of management
accounting are discussed in their relation to hotel organizations and their integrated
information systems. In view of the first direction, it is agreed that different variants
can be used in a profile-relevant combination (Fig.11). In this respect, most of the
respondents agree that management accounting is employed by the financial director
or head of accountancy in the organization, (82,6 %), who are aided by a special
department (17,4%) or other staff (8,7%).

Fig. 11. Management accounting structure

Another very interesting pattern emerging in the hotel organizations is
implementation of software products of the integrated information system (34,8%),
which explains why so many functions are shouldered solely by CFOs and not by
departments and members of staff (26,1% in total). A large per cent of data on the
decision making process is gathered by the software products and further processed
and structured in reference books on the top and middle management level of CFOs
and chief accountants.
In view of the second direction of analysis, is becomes clear that all organizations
use dedicated software for hotel property management (PMS Property Management
System), which is normally part of the hotel integrated information systems. It is also
clear, that the benefits outweigh the costs associated with implementation, maintenance
and staff training in terms of large to medium hotels, hotel chains and independent
hotel operators. Data on the goals of the management accounting can be extracted

from the accounting software, inventory programs, programs for generated sales, etc.
It is still undecided whether optimal integration links exist between the individual
information systems and what is the time lag since the occurrence of the first event
and its inclusion for the purposes of analysis.
The stage at which applicable tools and information systems are being examined
serves as the starting point for a further and more detailed research of the CVP
analysis how is management accounting progressing, what is the scope of applicable
tools with regards to studied directions and specific method implications.
IV. Application of cost-volume-profit analysis
The respondents identified those aspects in the analysis of the relationship between
changes in the volume of activities, and changes in the total sales revenue, expenses
and net profit which they applied or intend to apply by submitting a score for the utility
of generated data as well.
Research results serve to indicate that analysts apply the CVP analysis to all
aspects of management accounting, which clearly speaks of its significance for
generation of data on hotel management. Taking into account the specifics of the hotel
product we cannot but accept as logical the results on the extent and frequency of
application of CVP analysis, as discussed hereinafter.
With regards to planning, it is evident that determination of the critical/breakeven
point in the CVP analysis is frequently overlooked (43,4%) and is generally applied to
a set of events (possible occurrences) (17,4%) or to monthly planning (17,4%). It is
clear that one of the most common aspects of this approach often identified with the
CVP method itself remains misjudged. This can be attributed to the dynamic character
of consumer demand which tends to restrict critical volume planning within short time
horizons i.e. periods when hotels have available booking information or possible
occurrences, for example a sudden drop in consumer demand or when the hotel receives
bookings for an off-season event.
Determining the operating leverage factor is not seen as a priority aspect either
(34,8%) in analyzing the operational risk in hotels. Here, the arithmetic mean score
is the lowest which can be explained with the low degree of application, however the
mode range index indicates that hotel organizations which analyze critical volume of
activity, place a high score on its information utility.
In the planning process, three aspects of the CVP analysis stand out as being
most frequently applied the CVP-based sensitivity analysis of the operating income
(77,9%), volume of activity needed to reach the desired profit level (69,5%) and making
decisions about the product mix (78,1%) These three aspects are routinely considered
on a monthly or yearly basis, whereas the score on their information utility is relatively
low (3,89).
For example, CVP analysis helps managers take decisions about control in the
surveyed organizations, 86,8% of them examine deviations in revenue, costs and
operating income due to changes in the volume of activity, whereas 78,2% conduct
analysis on areas of responsibility. In contrast to the planning function, the CVP-based
IZVESTIA Journal of University of Economics Varna

Table 2
Applicability and information utility of CVP analysis

Applied (%) Not applied Score


A study of the impact of changes in

Do you

c average
volume upon changes in revenue, costs intend to

and organization financial results


apply it (%)



Yes No
Defining the volume of activity which
leads to a breakeven point, with known
- 4,3 17,4 4,3 17,4 43,4 4,3 52,2 5 3 3,14
product/service price and costs a
critical point in quantity and value
Defining the volume of activities aiming
- - 26,1 30,4 13,0 69,5 8,7 21,7 4 4 3,89
to reach the desired profit level
Conducting analysis which aims to
identify the sensitivity of operating profit
when changes occur in the following - - 39,1 30,4 8,7 77,9 4,3 17,4 4 4 3,89

factors - volume, pricing, variable costs

per unit product and fixed costs
Defining the operational risk in view of
the operating leverage factor (the relation
- - - 26,1 8,7 34,8 65,2 4 4 3,17
between marginal profit and operating

When making decisions about the

product mix what services, in what
- 4,3 30,4 30,4 13 78,1 4,3 17,4 4 4 3,89
volume, prices, fixed and variable costs,
in view of limitations to capacity.

Research into areas of responsibility,

with evaluation of performance and
activities in terms of revenue generated - 8,7 47,8 17,4 4,3 78,2 - 21,7 5 5 4,35

and costs incurred for a specific volume

of activities
Analysis of allowed deviations from the
point of view of revenue, costs and profit 3
13 47,8 13 8,7 86,8 - 13 4 4 4,26
for a specific volume of activities
Making decisions of the type "Shall I
buy it or manufacture it", on the basis of
- - 13 13 21,7 47,7 - 52,2 5 4,5 3,83
size of variable costs, with two or more
alternative decision scenarios
Taking into consideration a single offer
Taking managerial decisions

with special conditions attached

(availability is regarded in view of 1
17,4 8,7 - 39,1 78,2 - 21,7 5 4 3,95
variables such as marginal costs) for 3
example, to extend the guests stay at a
preferential rate or a last minute offer
When decisions to start, continue or stop
an activity are taken, taking into account
the volume of activities and associated 3
4,3 17,4 39,1 17,4 82,5 - 17,4 4 4 3,95
revenue, fixed and variable costs
Analysis of the impact of changes arising
in the structure of the product mix (basic
- - 39,1 8,7 13 60,8 - 39,1 4 4 4,21
and ancillary services) with limited
financial resource
In-house financial

Factor analysis of the impact of the

and accounting

volume factor upon revenue and costs of


previous periods, and elements which 4,

8,7 30,4 30,4 17,4 91,2 - 8,2 4 4 4,29
determine said factor (occupancy * load 3
factor or number of guests * average
duration of stay, bed nights)
Use of marginal profit (unit cost minus
food cost) as basis for setting menu 3
- 30,4 13 21,7 69,4 - 30,4 4 4 3,76
Pricing policy

prices in restaurants and bars

Price setting against marginal profit (
revenue from service minus variable
- 17,4 17,4 17,4 30,4 82,6 - 17,4 4 4 3,90
costs) with availability of hotel beds
(fixed costs are ignored)

control function is more widely used on a daily, weekly or monthly basis or with a set
of events (possible occurrence). Results from the above analysis are most highly
scored for information utility.
Nearly all organizations (82,5%) use the CVP analysis to help them decide whether
to start, continue or wind down their operations, which proves useful in breaking down
fixed costs into necessary fixed costs (permanent staff salaries) and discretionary costs or
ongoing business spends (for example salaries paid to seasonal workers), which in turn
supports relevant cost analysis. This aspect of the CVP analysis is applicable to all time
periods and in case of possible occurrence. On the one hand, the above decisions are seen
as routine in the running of seasonal hotels where analysis on annual basis is applied. But
when hotels rent out space to service or retail operators dependent on external factors
such as the weather, CVP analysis is made necessary for other time options.
CVP analysis is used in a large number of organizations (78,2%) to aid the
decision making process with special offers where only variable costs are taken into
account. This aspect of the CVP approach is applied mainly in the case of possible
occurrence and covers a very short time span. With decisions of the type Shall I buy
it or manufacture it? CVP analysis is used by a smaller number of enterprises with
the option for possible occurrence.
When the CVP approach is used for the purpose of organizations in-house
financial and accounting analysis, aiming to examine the effect of volume of activity
upon the business operating income (profit), it is seen as the most significant aspect of
the CVP tool. In the survey, it was applied in 91,2% of the organizations, exhibiting
one of the highest scores (4,29) for information utility. In hindsight, researchers often
analyzed the cost-volume-profit relationship to help them decide the impact of such
important operating factors as volume of activity and its effect upon revenue, costs
and operating income while executing the control function to track deviations or changes
in variables with reference to previous periods of accounting. The utility of thus
generated data is estimated the highest.
The CVP analysis is increasingly used by hotel organizations in establishing
their price setting policies on a wide scope of basic and ancillary services. Marginal
input is used as an index in the price setting mechanism both in the hotel (82,6%) and
restaurant sector (69,4%), mostly in the case of possible occurrence.
IZVESTIA Journal of University of Economics Varna

V. Conclusions
Organizations operating high-ranking hotels, have significantly developed their
management accounting practices in the context of the Bulgarian economic environment.
Moreover, the arsenal of analytical tools they applied, is largely determined by the specifics
of the hotel product and the needs to be addressed from the point of view of management
accounting and relevant data collection. It is worth noting, that all hotel organizations
embraced by the present survey demonstrated well-designed and functional information
systems which are a key factor in obtaining meaningful information in terms of the
cost-benefits principle. The organizations under study, applied conventional management
accounting methods to the discussed sections of the survey, though in the future they are
prepared to resort to more modern tools in their analysis. A number of factors are acting
upon, inhibiting the distribution of new methods of analysis such as development of
theoretical approaches, training and practical education in management accounting (on
many occasions boiled down to cost accounting), the situation before and after the
transition period to market economy by the end of last century, economic interests of
local enterprise owners and entrepreneurship, staff skills and qualifications, etc. Conducted
CVP analysis made us draw the conclusions, that it is one of the most common tools
used by hotel organizations to submit high utility data, as part of a number of effective
management accounting methods applied to the hotel industry.
Surveyed hotels, exhibit well-developed information systems with capabilities
for data extraction on a number of components of the volume of activity (bed nights)
in the hotel sector occupancy rate and load factors depending on seasonality; bed
nights for both children and adults; one night guest and average guest stay at the hotel;
bed nights in view of guest nationality, etc. In view of the significance of a detailed
analysis of factors determining the volume of activity but also having effect on the
CVP variables, we believe that implementation of a standardized approach to measure
said effect will be seen as a tangible contribution to research in this area. Such an
approach should be consistent with the analysis on identified areas/centres of
Appendix 1 List of hotels and organizations subject of research

N Organization N Organization
1 Grand Hotel Varna JSC 13 Astoria Beach Ltd.
2 International Hotel JSC 14 BIRS Ltd.
3 Zlatni Pyassatsi JSC 15 Lylia Hotel Ltd.
4 Top Travel BG - JSC 16 Sunny Day JSC
5 Galleria Hotels Ltd. 17 Varnenski bryag JSC
6 Dolce vita 2007 JSC 18 Riviera JSC
7 Terra Tour Service D 19 Briz 2 JSC

8 Mig Market Ltd. 20 Accuracy Activities

9 Gala Tours Ltd 21 Pirin Tourist Company JSC

10 Syrius 49 D 22 Hotel Management Company EOOD

11 Omega Bulgaria Ltd. 23 Tourist Holding Rusalka Holidays JSC

12 Glotrako Ltd. 24 Albena JSC

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IZVESTIA Journal of University of Economics Varna


Assist. Prof. Dragan Georgiev
At this stage there is still insufficient empirical data and analyses regarding the application
of the tools of managerial accounting in the tourist sector and mainly in the hotel industry. The
present study examines the application of the interdependence cost-volume-profit with a view
to the specific character of the hospitality product in Bulgarian high-category hotels. To that
end there is studied the rate, the frequency of use and the informational usefulness of the
aspects of the analysis in the context of the attained level of development of managerial
accounting in the enterprises, which operate the hotels in the Northeastern region, Bulgaria.
Keywords: managerial accounting, hotel keeping, approaches of managerial
accounting, cost-volume-profit.